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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Daily Routine

 Written 7/23/12

Class takes place in many kinds of available spaces
Yesterday was Sunday.  Our arrival day coincided with a parent visitation day.  Amanatul Ummah, International Standard School, or MBI as we know it, is a boarding school.  Parents dedicate their Sundays as a holiday to come and visit.  Of course the students are always very excited to see their families, and chatter abounds on this day.

My living quarters are nearer the middle school than the high school, though the walk is short and beautiful up the hill to MBI.  If I didn’t know it before now, I certainly can now confirm that middle schoolers are louder and sillier than high schoolers.  The environment is quite different on the two campuses.  The patio onto which my room door opens, serves as a classroom for some of the younger boys, so when I am there, I can hear the random and silly goings on.  Admittedly, they are really excited to see American teachers.  Most students greet us enthusiastically, and sometimes giggle when we respond.

The girls' morning assembly
Students assemble at 3:00 a.m. for morning announcements and prayer.  Since it is Ramadan, and fasting begins at daylight, the morning meal is taken after assembly, while it is still dark.  School officials have not asked us to attend so early, though since I don’t sleep through the noise, I could.  We arrive at MBI at 7:15 a.m.; another assembly is in progress at this time, and then classes begin at 7:30.  There are four class periods, with one 15 minute break following period two.  Many of the students take advantage of the break to sleep.  They have, after all, been awake since before 3:00 a.m.  As teachers return to classes after break, they sometimes have to wake up the students to begin lessons.  The school day ends at 1:00 p.m.  Teachers meet, if necessary, and prepare for any extra-curricular activities they sponsor.  This school year has just begun, so student clubs are forming, and student government offices are being filled through a democratic election system.  Candidates for student body president were giving campaign speeches when we arrived yesterday.   Tomorrow our after school event will be the English club’s open house.

It’s 11:40 p.m., and construction on the mosque next door has just stopped, at least momentarily, so blogging takes a back seat to sleep.  More later.

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